Why Fall Should Feature Greater Indoor Air Quality
We enjoy fall when it arrives here in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle (IL). It’s just a great time to be a Midwesterner. If you’re like us, you welcome the sight of changing trees, the sound of weekend sports and the smell of burning leaves and fire pits.
If autumn is pleasing for people, it can often be just as easy-going for your HVAC. With mild temperatures settling between warm and cold, you can often open the windows to let the air and sunshine in.
Your AC and furnace both get a break too. Because neither is running constantly, fall is a great time to have your HVAC inspected to ensure it will be ready for winter.
With all of that being said, fall does usher in its own challenge: indoor air quality.
Why Does Air Quality Worsen in Fall?
While autumn is pleasant, it also welcomes seasonal allergies. Fall usually has an increase in irritants such as ragweed pollen, dust mites, and mold and mildew that develop on damp fallen leaves and compost piles. Dander can remain an ever-present allergy source as well.
Poor indoor air quality can become a particular problem for those who have asthma, bronchitis or another breathing condition.
Other opponents of air quality in fall include:
reduced airflow. Summer and early fall are great for maintaining airflow with open windows. However, as the temperatures inch down later in fall and we close the windows, airflow slows down and keeps more impurities in circulation.
low humidity. Cooling indoor air in late fall will be drier air. Running the furnace to warm your home makes the air drier as well.
airborne particles & indoor pollution. A home that lacks proper filtration and ventilation will often circulate more impurities such as smoke; dust, dirt and cleaning-chemical particles; and illness-causing pathogens.
mold. As we move into October and November in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle, it’s not uncommon to have a fair share of fall rain. Mold tends to thrive in the season’s wet air and damp spaces. Beyond creating mold that provokes allergies, these conditions aid the growth of mold in fall foliage that retains moisture. The spores can circulate and eventually enter the home to travel through indoor air.
Worsening indoor air quality in fall is a simple matter of physics: warm air rises and cool air sinks. In spring and summer, warmer air – which is thinner and lighter – carries impurities up and away into the atmosphere, where they can diffuse and dissipate.
In fall and winter, colder air – which is denser and heavier – clings to the ground and keeps pollutants with it. This allows them to concentrate at much higher levels indoors. Viruses also can transmit more easily in the drier conditions that cold air often creates.
Now that we’ve defined factors that can compromise air quality at home in fall, let’s discuss the solutions you can apply.
Prevent Fall Allergies with an Air Purifier
You can fight fall allergies and enhance your indoor air quality by installing an air purifier at home. By filtering the air that passes through it, an air purifier removes impurities such as smoke, particles and pathogens that become irritants and health problems.
Air purifiers are categorized according to how they treat the air. Different air purifiers will:
capture pollutants within a filter
react chemically with airborne contaminants to sterilize them
absorb gasses into water-based solutions that are then evaporated out of the unit
pass the air over filters made of substances such as zeolite, carbon foam and activated charcoal made from coconut shells.
The most common type of air purifier currently is an electrostatic precipitator, which uses electric charges to make air particles clump together and then fall through a filter. These devices are particularly popular because they have fewer moving parts than other types of purifiers do, making them more reliable for long periods.
Many homeowners also seek an air purifier with an ionizer because it is designed to freshen indoor air by releasing negatively charged ions into it. The airborne molecules attract and attach to positively charged particles such as smoke, pollen and dust.
To ensure an air purifier’s efficiency, you’ll want to ensure the unit is correctly sized for how you will use it. Some purifiers might only be able to treat the air in certain spaces. To determine the proper size, know the measurements of the rooms in which you will use the air purifier, especially in areas where you spend a lot of time (e.g. bedroom, living room).
Installing a whole-home air purifier is a great way to reduce pollution and improve air quality throughout your house in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville or Lisle. A whole-home purifier attaches to your furnace or air-handling unit and decontaminates the air you breathe before it is recirculated back into the home. Whole-home air purifiers are typically more effective at treating indoor air than standalone units are.
CO Detectors: Breathe Safer Air This Fall As Well
Optimal indoor air for breathing in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle is as safe as it is clean.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon in fuel-burning appliances such as gas stoves, furnaces, dryers and water heaters.
While inspecting and maintaining gas-burning equipment can help to control CO exposure, a sudden failure or other unpredictable event can still produce life-threatening amounts of the gas. A blocked chimney and a cracked furnace heat exchanger are just a couple examples.
If enough CO is able to gather, it can make home occupants ill and even become fatal. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, accidental CO poisoning kills approximately 200 people each year and injures 5,000 more.
To ensure personal safety, the commission recommends that a CO detector be installed on each floor of a residence. At minimum, there should be one on each floor where home occupants sleep. An additional detector should be placed near any major gas-burning appliances, such as the furnace or water heater.
CO detectors should ideally be replaced every three years. If a detector is more than five years old, it should be inspected.
Here for Answers and Service
Beery Heating and Cooling cares about how your indoor air quality contributes to your comfort, safety and health. We can help you establish the air-quality system that is right for you, including proper filtration, ventilation and whole-home purification and humidification. We can also help you save energy with your system.
To find out more about our air-quality solutions for Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Oswego and Lisle (IL), including installation of air purifiers and CO detectors, give us a call at (630) 585-6444!
We also specialize in air purifiers and CO detectors for close-by communities such as Plano, Batavia, North Aurora, Sugar Grove and Montgomery (IL).